YUGOSLAVIA: THE AVOIDABLE WAR 7 OF 9

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YUGOSLAVIA: THE AVOIDABLE WAR PART 7 OF 9

-Review by Ken Fox-

Released into theaters at a time when former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic faces criminal charges in front of an international tribunal at the Hague, George Bogdanich's lengthy, three-part documentary raises a number of provocative questions about the complex web of events surrounding the dissolution of Yugoslavia. "Part 1, Lighting the Fuse" traces the roots of the Yugoslav conflict and the role played by Western powers in turning several localized conflicts into an inevitable and (the film postulates) entirely avoidable war.

With evidence that appears to contradict the official U.S. view that the Serbs started the war, Bogdanich explores the way in which a newly unified Germany's determined support for an independent Croatia served as a catalyst for civil war.

The segment ends with the European Community's disastrous 1992 vote — cast under intense pressure from the U.S. and Germany — to recognize Bosnia, Slovenia and Croatia as independent states (a vote one pundit called "as close to criminal negligence as a diplomatic act can be"), which was soon followed by the eruption of war in Bosnia.

"Part 2, The Proxy War" deals with the U.S.'s unflagging support for Bosnia's former president, Alija Izetbegovic, characterized here as a Muslim extremist whose Sarajevo regime maintained terrorist training camps and ties to an international radical Islamic network that included Osama bin Laden.

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